Experience the magic of the holiday season at Festival of Trees in McGregor

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The Festival of Trees illuminated winter wonderland will be back in person this year, from Dec. 2-4, at Backwoods Bar and Grill and Event Center in McGregor. The event will also include holiday music, a craft and bake sale, pub crawl and children’s activities. (Times-Register file photo)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

Experience the magical sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season at the Festival of Trees. The 12th annual event will be back in person this year, from Dec. 2-4, at Backwoods Bar and Grill and Event Center in McGregor.

 

Get a preview of the illuminated winter wonderland of over 30 decorated Christmas trees at Dessert Among the Trees on Thursday, Dec. 2. The night will run from 6 to 8 p.m. and feature special holiday desserts—homemade cheesecake and carrot cake—as well as a choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages and holiday music by MFL MarMac students.

 

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time by calling (563) 873-1125 or visiting the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce office, McGregor City Hall, The Left Bank or McGregor Public Library. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

 

On Friday, Dec. 3, the trees—lovingly decorated by local individuals, organizations and businesses—will be on display from noon to 8 p.m., with free will admission. Vote for your favorite in the two categories: mostly handmade and mostly store-bought. Many of the trees will also be available for silent auction.

 

Other Friday activities include a holiday craft sale and evening musical performances, with caroling by MFL MarMac students and a Christmas sing-a-long. 

 

From 4 to 8 p.m., adults can enjoy the annual Spirits of Christmas pub crawl. A ticket “passport” entitles participants to a free, sample size holiday drink from five McGregor establishments: Steve’s Silver Dollar, Jade’s River Queen, Pocket City Pub, Backwoods and Old Man River. Each participant will bring their completed passport to the Festival of Trees site, where it will be entered into a drawing for a cash prize worth 20 percent of the total tickets sold. Forty percent of all ticket sales will be donated to the Festival of Trees chosen charities, while the remaining 40 percent will serve as a prize for the establishment with the most popular drink chosen by votes.

 

On Saturday, Dec. 4, view the decorated trees from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting and silent auction bidding will continue throughout the day, with winners announced at 8 p.m.

 

Saturday festivities will also feature a morning bake sale and holiday craft sale, along with a special holiday luncheon by Backwoods Bar and Grill. There will be free children’s crafts, including gingerbread house making and a pinata, and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 2 to 4 p.m. That evening, enjoy more holiday music.

 

Proceeds from Festival of Trees will be donated to three area non-profits: Dr. Smith Daycare, Quilts of Valor and the children’s art instruction at the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts, Inc.

 

The event is co-sponsored by the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts, McGregor Historical Museum and Clan McGregor for Community Enrichment.

 

For more information, check out the “Festival of Trees - McGregor, Iowa” Facebook page.

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